The Riverside Public library has a collection of almost 200 different citrus labels.
The collection consists of citrus labels (mostly orange, but some lemon and grapefruit examples) mainly from the southern California counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and Orange.
Oranges originally were grown for local consumption. But the completion of the transcontinental railroad in the 1880s changed the marketing of the fruit. A national network of transportation and the citrus friendly California climate encouraged more people to migrate west. This resulted in the increased need to differentiate one grower’s product from another, to capture the attention of the wholesalers and customers back east.
As with anything, people started collecting citrus labels and the early examples have been able to survive, allowing future generations to be able to enjoy the beauty of these early labels.
A lot of early collectors were agricultural inspectors, labels were traded labels back and forth, with inspectors from different parts of the state, allowing their collections to grow.
A lot of family’s have their own collections.
What about yours? Do you have a collection of citrus labels? Do you have a favorite?